By Catherine Twing, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – When Marlborough residents are going through a tough time, the community is there to lend a hand. And that’s exactly why the Mayor’s Charity Relief Fund continues to raise money for those in need.
The biennial Marlborough Mayor’s Charity Relief Ball will be held Saturday, March 14, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center.
Established in 1960 by Mayor Kusan Haddad, the Relief Fund helps Marlborough residents during times of distress. The fund helps anywhere from 25 to 60 residents every year affected by difficult circumstances including illness, fire or job loss. The fund also helps senior citizens on fixed income who struggle with utility bills.
“Not only is this event always fun, but the money raised helps so many Marlborough neighbors when they encounter hard times and need assistance the most,” said Mayor Arthur Vigeant.
For many years the ball has been co-chaired by Bob Kayes and Linda Ossing. This year Meredith Harris, director of the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation, will take over Ossing’s role alongside Kayes. Ossing will still be involved, but to a lesser extent.
Kayes has been helping to organize the Charity Ball since the 1980s. He recognizes that Marlborough is a special community in the way residents go out of their way to help each other.
“This community is unique. People are giving every year,” he said, citing numerous other charity events that raise money for residents in need.
Since the ball will be in March, the organizers thought an “Emerald” Irish theme would be appropriate and it will feature Irish music.
“Being close to St. Patrick’s Day we wanted to give it an Irish flare,” Harris said.
As in past years, the evening will include hors d’oeuvres, dessert and coffee from local restaurants, a cash bar, and crowd favorite, photo booth. Kayes said they expect to raise $50,000 for the fund from admission, silent auction and raffles.
The mayor will also honor the 2020 Marlborough Humanitarian of the year. Originally established in 1986 as the “First Lady’s Humanitarian Award” by Mary Jane Conary, wife of Mayor Chester Conary, the award recognizes those who make an outstanding contribution to the Marlborough community.
“There are so many folks who do a lot behind the scenes,” Harris said. “We want to bring them out from behind the scenes and show the great things they do in the community.”
Nominations are now being accepted and can be sent to [email protected].
“This opportunity allows us to recognize an outstanding resident who puts the needs of others before their own,” Vigeant said. “Marlborough is full of people who selflessly give their money, time and energy, in many charitable ways, and that is one of the things that makes Marlborough so great.”
Last year’s award recipient was Ward 7 City Councilor Don Landers, retired Marlborough Public Schools administrator, former president of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce and one of the founders of Marlborough Youth Baseball.
Tickets for are $40 per person and are available for purchase from the Mayor’s Office and by emailing [email protected].